The Celebration has Begun
An article in the Buffalo News on May 1, 2016 revealed the upcoming celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday. Although the Queen reached that momentous date on April 21, 2016, a series of events will take place in Windsor Castle from May 12-15 to honor the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom. On September 9, 2015, Queen Elizabeth surpassed the title held previously held by Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years and 216 days. Elizabeth ascended to the throne 64 years ago, shortly before her 26th birthday. She is also the nation's first sovereign to celebrate her 90th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth II of England - Wikimedia
Festivities that are Planned
Tourists will be allowed to take part in the festivities honoring the Queen. Seven thousand people are expected to attend. Members of the Royal family will be present each night. There will be performances highlighting the Queen’s love of horses and her involvement with England’s army, navy, and air force. Tickets for the events are sold out, but visitors will be able to witness the events on large screens placed in the Royal Parks, Green Park and St. James Park, and in every pub and restaurant.
A “Street Party”
A highlight will be a colorful “street party” to mark the occasion at the Mall in St. James Park. The people will be able to relish the fare spread out on tables stretching the full length of the Mall, with entertainment galore. Union Jack flags will also be flown, as is customary for momentous events on the British royal family’s calendar.
The queen’s birthday party will celebrate her patronage of more than 600 charities and organizations. The nonprofit event will raise money for the newly created Patron’s Fund, which supports her charities in Britain and the Commonwealth nations.
The British Royal Family - Wikimedia
Historical Birthday Parade
The Queen’s Birthday Parade is schedule for June 11th. The tradition dates back to the year 1748 and includes 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses, and 400 musicians. Crowds of people will line the streets to witness the pageantry.
The Queen’s Wardrobe on Exhibition
In addition, lasting until January 8, 2017, an exhibit of the Queen’s outfits will take place, rotating between her three official residences: Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. The exhibit will be entitled “Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style From the Queen’s Wardrobe.”
Places for Guests to Visit
Visitors to London should not overlook the Hempstead Heath Park where families can walk and have picnics. It is the home of Kenwood House, a stately structure built in the 18th century, which hosts a wonderful collection of fine art, including paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer. South of Hempstead is scenic Regent’s Park where there are thousands of roses in bloom during the month of June.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh - Wikimedia
The culinary pleasures in London are legendary. Indian food is popular with both natives and visitors. A highly popular restaurant near St. James’ Palace is Chutney Mary. Also, Dishoom resembles a Bombay café and is inexpensive and lively. You can also get excellent, modern British food at Marcus and Tredwell’s, a favorite of Londoners. A seafood restaurant in Berkeley Square, called Sexy Fish, has long lines waiting to get in.
Since a visit to London can be expensive, it is best if you are able to walk. Taxis are expensive as well as food. Borough Market has stalls where you can purchase an inexpensive lunch as you take in the sights. Be sure to eat a hearty English breakfast at your hotel before you venture out. You can then save money by waiting until tea time, combining your lunch and dinner at a luxury hotel where the spreads are generous, offering sandwiches, scones, and tarts.
Take in Oxford
If a traveler would like to take a day trip away from London, Oxford is a good choice. It takes about an hour by train. The architecture is breathtaking, consisting of both medieval and Baroque. Some of the Harry Potter film series were made here. Just outside Oxford, you will see Blenheim Palace, where Winston Churchill was born. There are also some nice English pubs along the way if you care to make a luncheon stop.
Wedding of Prince William and Kate - Wikimedia
Milestones of the Queen’s Life
The 90-year journey will take us from the excitement of the birth, through to World War Two, her marriage, the coronation and a reign of more than 60 years.
1926 - Born on April 21st to The Duke and Duchess of York.
1937 - Accession of Duke of York as King George VI at his Coronation on May 12th.
1943 - Princess Elizabeth joined the women’s auxiliary of the British Army, the ATS.
1947 - Marriage to Phillip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey on November 20th.
1948 - Birth of Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on November 14th.
1953 - Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on June 2nd.
1957 – Queen Elizabeth II visits New York City in October.
1977 - Silver Jubilee of Queen’s Accession to the throne.
1995 - The Queen visits South Africa and meets with Nelson Mandela.
2000 - Queen Elizabeth visits Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
2002 - The Queen celebrates her Golden Jubilee, reigning for 50 years.
2011- The wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.
2012 - A Diamond Jubilee Celebration recognizes the Queen’s 60-year reign.
Tributes to the Queen
Queen Elizabeth II is a well-loved Queen who has ruled her country with a loving hand, providing strength during times of war and recession. Prime Minister David Cameron called her "a rock of strength for our nation" throughout her reign. Prince William spoke about his grandmother, saying “She's been a very strong female influence. And having lost my mother at a young age, it's been particularly important to me that I've had somebody like the Queen to look up to and who's been there and who has understood some of the more complex issues when you lose a loved one."
Visitors come from all over the world to visit the country and hope to get a glimpse of the Queen as she rides through town sometimes in her carriage. The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is five years older than the Queen, having had his 95th birthday recently.
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